No intervention in Syria

Updated: 2011-08-24 08:28

(China Daily)

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WITH THE CRISIS IN LIBYA DRAWING TO AN END, it is no surprise that eyes are now on Syria. The west Asian country has experienced similar turbulence since mid-March, and there is much speculation that the victory of the Libyan opposition will very likely fuel anti-government protests in Syria, which will in turn escalate tensions in the region and prompt Western powers to take more drastic moves against Syria.

In the past week, the United States and European countries have intensified sanctions against Syria and their calls for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad to step down. They have also tried to seek a resolution condemning the Al-Assad regime in the United Nations.

All these moves, which look similar to those taken by the West before they waged military intervention against Libya, have aroused concern that Syria may soon face the same fate as Libya. If this becomes a reality the region will only plunge deeper into the whirlwind of prolonged unrest.

The international community should bear in mind that the situation in Syria is different from that in Libya. An important country in the Middle East, Syria has a significant role to play in the region's overall stability and security. It is counted as a major player in the regional peace process too.

Compared to Libya, though much smaller in size, Syria has a population more than three times the size. Months of military intervention in Libya led by Western powers have caused serious humanitarian disasters. If a similar scenario is repeated in Syria the consequences will be unimaginable.

A political vacuum has arisen in several countries in North Africa and West Asia in the wake of regime changes since the end of last year. There is no guarantee that social order and stability will be restored soon in Libya either.

Under such circumstances, international mediation and initiatives aiming to solve the Syrian crisis should be conducted with a view to regional stability and the well-being of the Syrian people. There is an urgent need to shore up the consensus that the future of Syria should be determined by its people, rather than dictated by outside forces.

It is also important that any initiatives to resolve the crisis in Syria be guided by the UN Charter and international law, and fully respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria.

China is a staunch supporter of peaceful solutions. It insists that a home-led and inclusive political process is the only way to end the current crisis.

To prevent an escalation of violence and further bloodshed, and to restore stability and order to the country as soon as possible, we hope all parties in Syria will show maximum restraint and refrain from violence, and seek a political solution through dialogue and consultation.

We also urge the Syrian government to deliver its promised reforms.

(China Daily 08/24/2011 page8)